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Curating a Digital Project Using Omeka: Getting Started

Using Omeka to curate a digitized collection and create an online exhibit.

Planning the Project

From Omeka Site Planning Tips:


1. What are the primary goals of the website?


2. Who is the primary audience of this website? Secondary audiences?


  • What do you want these specific audiences to accomplish when they come to the site?

  • What content/actions do you want to prioritize?


3. What sections will this website include?

  • Typical top level navigation and sections for a typical Omeka site include:

    • Items: (renamed however you would like Archive/Sources/Objects) links to a browseable list of items, sortable by type of item and tags.

    • Collections (renamed however you would like): groups of items, public can dig through collection to find items.

    • Exhibits: (renamed however you would like): Exhibits contain interpretative text and rely on items/sources/objects as their building blocks.

    • About-- a simple page good for publishing project descriptions, credits, rights, et al

    • Keyword Search box –option to link to advanced search page


Setting Up Omeka

What kind of functionality do you need to manage the collection? These plugins may be useful to install:

What features would you like to build into the online experience for users? These plugins (and others) may be useful to install:

  • COins - embeds citation metadata for each item so that users can add metadata to citation tools like Zotero
  • Commenting - allows for users to comment on the site and administrators to moderate comments
  • Contribution - collect stories, images, or other files from the public to add to the collection
  • ExhibitBuilder - develop web pages that showcase objects with narrative text
  • SimplePages - add web pages to the Omeka site
  • Social Bookmarking - adds social bookmarking features
  • Bar Code and Reports - create QR codes for items (can be used in conjunction with physical exhibit)

Read the User Guide for Scholars for more step-by-step instructions on setting up Omeka.


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Emily Lin
Director, Strategic Initiatives, Archives & Special Collections
UC Merced Library